Why has the Community bot's profile pic changed from the beloved MSE logo to this:

enter image description here

A common Identicon? Accident, or conspiracy?

  • Status-no-repro – Luuklag Jul 15 at 16:55
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    This appears to have been fixed on MSE; however, it still looks wrong on most/all other sites. Site mods can fix it if they want, which may be what happened with MSE; I can't tell obviously. – hyper-neutrino Jul 15 at 16:55
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    I can't save it network-wide - the option is missing, so while I did fix it on MSE, the issue is persisting everywhere else. – Catija ModStaff Jul 15 at 16:57
  • @Catija It's back here and on SO, but still there on the others. – Ollie Jul 15 at 16:58
  • @Catija something is going on then: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/409143/… not only for the community user – rene Jul 15 at 16:58
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    I'm working on restoring it network-wide - we ran a backfill that did something... unexpected – Dean Ward ModStaff Jul 15 at 16:58
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    Since it’s being changed, we might as well make it an unicorn now... – Ekadh Singh Jul 15 at 20:51
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    @EkadhSingh Not a bad idea, all things considered... or a stack of waffles. – Ollie Jul 15 at 20:55
  • Still broken on Travel – Robert Columbia Jul 16 at 16:47
  • @RobertColumbia broken everywhere but on MSE and SO. – Ollie Jul 16 at 20:29

Way back in the day we started salting Gravatar image URLs, but only for new users. Older users do not have a salted Gravatar URL.

Today we performed a backfill so we can drop an old column Users.Email which contains an email address only used for this purpose but we didn't take into account that users created prior to August 2013 would not have salted URLs. Community is one of those users.

It's gonna take a little while to unwind the backfill and fix everything correctly!

UPDATE 1 A fix has been approved but I'm not particularly keen on running another backfill network-wide on a Friday afternoon. It'll be run to address the issue with all affected users profile images on Monday morning (UTC).

UPDATE 2 I'm running the backfill here on meta now, after verifying the backfill was successful it'll be on a couple of other smaller sites.

UPDATE 3 Backfill was successful on meta, running on a smaller site now - assuming success, rest of the network is next.

UPDATE 4 Annnnnd we're done. Apologies for the inconvenience folks

  • So this is implemented? – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Jul 16 at 7:44
  • Will it be implemented by the planned change? – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Jul 16 at 7:45
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    Area51 is an… odd case. It’s a fork of SE from many moons ago - each change we make in SE has to be painstakingly backported - I don’t think it’s likely I’ll touch it today – Dean Ward ModStaff Jul 16 at 7:47
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    Not asking specifically about Area 51, but about the sites. The Email field is altogether gone on them now? What about the two cases where it had some use (1. legacy users who'd set up different emails to have different Gravatars on different sites as the manual uploading system didn't exist, and 2. unregistered users since their email isn't verified yet)? Also, is it no longer the case that one's old email address is retained after changing it? – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Jul 16 at 7:49
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    @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog I gotcha - today we’ll fix the backfill (which stores a gravatar profile image URL rather than calc it using email), next we’re working out a plan for unregistered, then that column gets dropped (but only on SE network). However, no changes planned for Area51 so there will still be a disconnect between SE and Area51. I’d need to check the behaviour of the old email address but I’m pretty sure it does get kept around – Dean Ward ModStaff Jul 16 at 7:55
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    What email address will be used for Gravatar images after that column is dropped? – Ryan M Jul 16 at 10:07
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    @RyanM Whatever is configured in your email settings – Dean Ward ModStaff Jul 16 at 12:16
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    I registered after August 2013, but I've still lost my Gravatar on a number of sites. Not all though, and I can't see any pattern that would determine which. – curiousdannii Jul 16 at 12:33
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    @curiousdannii yup, after investigation the problem goes a little deeper than just the cut-off of August 2013. We have a more comprehensive fix approved, but it won't roll out until Monday – Dean Ward ModStaff Jul 16 at 16:51
  • I registered before 2013 and my gravitar has chnaged on some of those including SO and not others like here. – mmmmmm Jul 16 at 17:01
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    Good call on not running this friday night, wpuld have given you an upvote for it, but alas you already have it. – Luuklag Jul 16 at 20:10
  • So it's changing so we can't have per-site emails anymore? Or rather, when did that change happen? We have to have everything under our "primary"? Not sure how I feel about this. For some sites I don't necessarily want to have it associated that way, since I am using my primary personal email for Stack Overflow as I consider it part of my "professional" profile. But some others, I'd rather not... – Jeff Mercado Jul 17 at 2:00
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    @JeffMercado It’s been like this for…. 4 years? We don’t use these per site email addresses except for Gravatar (and one other, rarely used, case) - they’ve been legacy since we launched account level email settings – Dean Ward ModStaff Jul 17 at 8:02
  • @JeffMercado using two seperate profiles, both with their own login is still supported. Just make sure youndon't accidentally trigger a merger of them. – Luuklag Jul 19 at 13:21

Strangely, from the edit profile menu, it looks right (just clicked the "Change picture" button and did not change which one was selected):

enter image description here

Gravatar bug? ? ... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Yeah, there's a recent bug report on MSO about sudden gravatar changes... – Ollie Jul 15 at 16:59
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    shouldiblamecaching.com – Ekadh Singh Jul 15 at 20:51
  • How are you able to change Community's picture? – GoodDeeds Jul 18 at 9:41
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    @GoodDeeds That's a thing moderators can do. Its intended usage is to rollback or wipe any offensive profiles or impersonation, and is occasionally used to change usernames bypassing the 30-day limit upon user request; here, I used it to reset my site's community profile on main. – hyper-neutrino Jul 18 at 13:39
  • I see, thanks.. – GoodDeeds Jul 18 at 19:22
  • @hyper-neutrino doubt it's done by moderators though. Community user avatar is network wide, so Community Team should be making the avatar change. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Jul 19 at 11:11

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